Obama for America is morphing into a nonprofit advocacy group

posted at 1:11 pm on January 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

We all knew that the campaign machinery Team Obama has built up over the past few years was going to continue to work to push President Obama’s agenda, but in what capacity they’d be doing so wasn’t one hundred percent clear.

They can’t technically be a campaign anymore, and in the post-election lull, they moved into the DNC and renamed themselves Organizing for America, while certain Democrats have been laying on the pressure for the group to share the resource-wealth with Democratic candidates. Their further options included transforming those resources into a super PAC or a tax-exempt nonprofit, and it looks like they’ve decided upon the latter course of action:

The former Obama campaign will become a non-profit that will advocate for the president’s policies, the first such transition for a major political organization, according to a senior Democratic official.

Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina will become chairman of the new group, and White House aide Jon Carson will join as executive director. The group will disclose its donors.

The new group will be called Organizing for Action and accept donations form individuals and corporations but not from lobbyists or PACs, the AP reported.

And it looks and sounds exactly what you’d expect it to look and sound like:

“…We should all be proud of what we accomplished, but let’s be clear: All that hard work was about more than just one election. So, if we want to finish what we started, and truly make that change we believe in, we can’t stop now. And that’s why today, I’m proud that our friend and supporters are launching Organizing for Action, the next phase of our movement for change. Supporters like you will be the heart of this organization, because, for the past six years, you’ve done something so much bigger than elect a president. You’ve given ordinary people a place in our democratic process again. …Winning an election won’t bring about the change we seek; it’s simply the chance to make that change.”

Again, I’m skeptical that they can garner quite the same kind of sustained enthusiasm for the everyday humdrum of politics that they managed for President Obama’s reelection, but I won’t be putting anything past them, either. It could turn out to be a formidable political weapon, and the precise type of communication machine that the GOP is sorely lacking:

The whole wide world is living in an age of always-on messaging, and the Republican Party is living in the age of Morse code. It isn’t that no one is listening to the GOP. There is nothing to hear.

Smarting from defeat by Barack Obama’s made-in-Silicon-Valley messaging network, congressional Republicans in Washington are getting tutorials to bring them into a Twitterized world. I have a simpler idea: First join the 20th-century communication revolution by creating an office of chief party spokesman. One for the House and one for the Senate.


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